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Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance Paperback – January 21, 2005
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"Thanks to the clear thinking and biblically solid perspective of my friend, Bruce Ware, we are now blessed with this stimulating and edifying description of our God who is worthy of wonder and awe. Here is a theology that will launch your heart in worship-as all good theology should!"
—Joseph M. Stowell, President, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the remarkable accomplishment of one of the finest scholars in the land. . . . Bruce Ware has succeeded in doing what many scholars can never do. He has written a thorough theological treatise that any biblically literate layman can understand. Finally, we have a volume that reaches beyond the academic community and into the life of the local church."
—Paige Patterson, President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Many automatically equate theology with complexity and even irrelevancy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dr. Ware has the rare gift of making the profound accessible; he understands why theology matters and that it is the basis for true doxology."
—Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author; Host, Revive Our Hearts
"With all of the material available on the doctrine of the Trinity, I am thrilled to finally have a resource that will help the person in the pew understand how to properly articulate the doctrine and also grasp why it matters."
—Randy Stinson, Senior Vice President for Academic Administration and Provost, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"This book will help you behold God's wondrous beauty and understand how it can be reflected in the way you interact with others. It is both awe-inspiring and immensely practical. Ware does a masterful job of helping the ordinary person understand and apply this important doctrine."
—Mary A. Kassian, Professor of Women's Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild
About the Author
Bruce A. Ware (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of Christian theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has written numerous journal articles, book chapters, book reviews, and has authored God's Lesser Glory, God's Greater Glory, and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
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Top Customer Reviews
Bruce Ware's Father, Son, & Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, & Relevance, seeks to provide us with the robust understanding we lack. The brief 158 page book is an adaptation from a series of lectures Dr. Ware gave at a conference in 2004 and is broken down into six chapters.
Chapter One addresses the importance of the doctrine of the Trinity. "Would God have chosen to reveal himself to us as the one God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, unless he knew that this would be important to our understanding of him and our faith?" (13) Chapter Two claims to be an historical overview of the doctrine, though it's really more of an analysis of the Biblical evidence for the Trinity.
Chapters Three through Five are each on a different person of the Godhead. Each chapter describes the unique roles of each person, how they relate to one another, and what relevance each person's roles has for our lives.
The final chapter, six, concludes with ten "lessons for our lives and ministries from the relationships and roles of the triune God." (132) Since we are made in God's image, we must start with understanding of God in order to understand ourselves. The applications include living in community, the harmony of unity, the importance of authority and submission within our families and churches, how to pray, and how to worship.
The book is a very easy read, though it is far from simple. I still think James R. White's The Forgotten Trinity is the best book available in regards to the Biblical basis of the doctrine. However, Dr. Ware's is the best I've seen that explains the roles of each person and how the doctrine should apply to how we live. For instance, "Here in the Trinity... we see hierarchy without hubris, authority with no oppression, submission that is not servile, and love that pervades every aspect of the divine life." (157)
If you're questioning the Biblical basis of the doctrine, go read James White. If you are seeking a deeper understanding of the Trinity and the relevance the nature of God has in your life, Dr. Ware's book is a must read. I know of no other book that explains these profound truths with such clarity and warmth while maintaining their depth and weight.
Having read the book I agree with Crossway's assessment. This book is a treasure and one that deserves to be read, absorbed and appreciated. It is a thorough but readable study of the Trinity, their Relationships, Roles and Relevance. The final word of that, the book's subtitle, is what sets this book apart. Ware does more than merely provide a defense of the doctrine of the Trinity. Each aspect of the doctrine is accompanied by an explanation of why this doctrine is relevant and how the reader can apply this to his life. This is a perfect example of practical theology - taking theology out of the realm of knowledge and making it a part of our lives.
Like many books on theological subject matters, this one began as a series of sessions delivered at a conference. The five one-hour speeches have been adapted into a 167-page, six-chapter book. The first chapter deals with the importance of the doctrine of the Trinity. Ware correctly asserts that few things can be more important than studying and understanding, in so far as we are able, the character and persons of God. "It is my hope and prayer that, through this study, we will be able to hear the voice of the Lord helping us to understand the beauty and glory of the God whom we already know as God. But do we know him as we should? Do we know him as he truly is?" (page 14). The second chapter provides an overview of the historical development of the doctrine as Christians came to a deeper understanding of biblical truths through the history of the church.
The heart of the book is in chapters three, four and five. There is one chapter dedicated to each of the three persons of God. In particular, Ware examines the relationships of the members to each other. While each member of the Trinity is fully God, what defines one from the other is their particular roles and relationships. For example, the way in which the Son relates to the Father is presented in clear contrast to the Son's relationship with the Holy Spirit. In each chapter the reader is led to marvel at the wonder that is our God. Each chapter concludes with a section where the author provides application of all that he has taught about the relationships within the Trinity.
The final chapter encourages the believer to behold the wonder of the triune persons in relational community. The chapter is composed of ten "lessons for our lives and ministries from the relationships and roles of the triune God." Each lesson is practical, understandable and biblical.
What can I say? Taking theology to the masses does not get much better than this. Bruce Ware has taken his extensive knowledge of this doctrine and provided it to the church in a format that anyone can enjoy and understand. There is enough content to challenge any believer, but it is simple enough that none need be intimidated by it. This is the best book I've read on the Trinity and I simply can't recommend it highly enough.